It’s crazy to write this, but Fallout 4 comes out this week. I’m under no embargo, so I can totally say that out loud without fear of retribution. In fact, on Wednesday, I’ll be joining the next generation of gamers–a.k.a. the current gen–with an Xbox One and a retail copy of Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic take on Boston. Yeah, I know the game releases to the public a day prior, but my bundle won’t arrive until Hump Day. That all said, I’m totes excited.
I fired up Fallout: New Vegas over the weekend because the reality is this: once I can deep-dive into Fallout 4, it’s going to be hard to return to any of the prior games. That’s fine when it comes to Fallout 3 because I saw and did nearly everything possible, but there’s still a handful of things to do and Achievements to pop left in Fallout: New Vegas, and it seems like I haven’t touched my console copy of the game in about three years. A couple of them still seem too much for my waning heart, like completing an entire run on the “hardcore” difficulty or getting banned from all the strip’s casinos. However, I noticed that there were two left unpopped from the Deathclaw- and radiation-heavy DLC Lonesome Road. Hmm. Off to the Divide!
My first focus was on upgrading everyone’s favorite floating eye-bot equipped with battle theme music ED-E with all five performance enhancements. I guess I missed one or two the only other time I played the DLC, which meant I opted to have a guide open next to me as I both meandered through the irradiated land and listened to Dave Lang coin future Giant Bomb phrases like “get monked” during his Extra Life 2015 stream. I was able to get four of the five upgrades for ED-E, which do stick in the robot permanently when you return to the Mojave Desert, but one required a Science skill level of 75 or up to hack a terminal and open a locked door. I’m guessing I didn’t have the skill high enough before. Well, as luck has it, I did not have a great Science skill with this character either, so I grinded out some XP and used a magazine to hit 75 on the dot. Check it out:
ED-Ecated (20G): Find all of ED-E’s upgrades in the Divide.
The other Achievement that I was juggling progress towards as I outfitted ED-E for the future is Warhead Hunter, which tasks the Courier with detonating all of the warheads in the Divide. There are thirty in total, and by the time I had spoken Ulysses down from unnecessary violence–thank you, 100 Speech skill level–I had twenty-four taken care of. Then I hit up the Courier’s Mile for two more, which is a really tough section full of radiation and Deathclaws; I kind of zipped in, used the laser detonator, and got out faster than you can say wasteland omelet. That means I have four left, and I’m not sure exactly where they are, nor do I feel like retracing every step I took to unearth them. Kind of a bummer, but my fault for not following a step-by-step guide.
If anything, this brief return to Fallout: New Vegas has reminded me of what I’d like to see greatly improved in Fallout 4. Combat can still be chaotic and clunky, and sometimes you can mash on the Pip-Boy button only for your character to never bring it up, leaving you open to the deadly swipe of a Deathclaw. The menus themselves continue to be a struggle to get through. That standard Bethesda jank will never go away, seeing as I had enemies doing cartwheels through walls during slow-mo V.A.T.S. moments, but I’d like to see less of it on an enhanced engine.
Considering my Xbox One bundle comes with a digital version of a backwards compatible version of Fallout 3, there’s hope down the road of Fallout: New Vegas also getting the same treatment. If so, cool. Perhaps by then I might be in the mood to return to Brown Town and finish up the remaining six Achievements. Until then, I have Fallout 4‘s ruined Boston to explore, which is doubly interesting to me seeing as I visited the real-life city back in August and expect to recognize several locations. Hopefully one of them is the fake Cheers bar. It’s gonna be wicked.